After awhile your everyday recall command may lose it's sense of urgency. In an urgent scenario, your daily "Come" command may not be strong enough. Let's say an irresistible squirrel is perched on your front lawn, taunting your poor dog. As you open the door to retrieve the mail, your dog door dashes and lays chase! The offending squirrel then dashes across the street with your precious pooch in hot pursuit, just as a car is careening down your street! You call him to you frantically, but your dog has tuned you and your boring "Come!" command out. It's a disaster in the making.
For situations like that, it's critical to have an Emergency Recall Command in addition to your everyday recall command. The difference is that your Emergency Recall Command is a command reserved for more extreme situations like a speeding car or a vicious dog approaching. My Emergency Recall Command for Icy and Phoebe is "DANGER, DANGER!!". Whatever my dogs are doing, wherever they happen to be they stop and immediately come running. Why? Because they know that along with those two magical words comes delicious.... BACON! It is the only time my dogs ever get bacon or bacon flavored anything. That makes bacon their most highly valued treat. They come running because they never know when they might ever get that delicious bacon again.
Icy is enthralled with whatever lurks behind the garage. Don't ask me why, personally I think it's kind of gross back there. She is always reluctant to come out, and sometimes I need to call her a couple of times before she'll emerge. It's a great opportunity to practice our Emergency Recall Command. In this video, watch how she responds to my Emergency Recall.
I never use the Emergency Recall Command unless I'm reinforcing that training, and of course if there's an urgent situation. Thankfully, I only had an urgent situation once, when Icy got loose as I dropped her off for boarding. In a nano-second, she ran and was barreling towards the door and the parking lot! I quickly yelled "DANGER, DANGER!!", stopping Icy in her tracks, sending her running back toward me. I breathed a huge sigh of relief and nearly bit off the head of the poor employee for letting her slip out of his grasp.
Training your dog to respond to an Emergency Recall Command is just like teaching any other command. Find one thing you can use as a super high value reward that you will only use for Emergency Recall. A treat, a toy, whatever will seriously float your dog's boat.
|An Emergency Recall command should stop your dog in his tracks|
Does your dog have an Emergency Recall Command? What do you think about having an Emergency Recall Command, separate from your daily Come command? Leave us a comment, we always want to hear your thoughts!